Danish Kapoor
Danish Kapoor

Next generation connectivity for travelers with SpaceX’s Starlink Mini Internet

SpaceX’s Starlink satellite internet service is already in use in many places around the world, from boats to planes, from remote villages to rural homes. This service, which is not yet active in Turkey and we do not expect it to be active before 2025, is now also offered to backpackers.

The new and compact DC-powered Starlink Mini is the size of a thick laptop and integrates the Wi-Fi router directly into the antenna. Although it consumes less energy than other Starlink terminals, it can still offer speeds of over 100 Mbps. SpaceX CEO Elon Musk stated that Starlink Mini will change the world and that the installation of this product takes less than five minutes.

Specifically, the Mini kit consumes just 20-40W on average, while the Standard Active antenna and separate AC-powered Wi-Fi router measured two years ago consumed 33-62W. This means you can power a device like the Mini antenna for two to three hours from an Anker Prime 27,650mAh (99.54Wh) power bank, or just over an hour from smaller 10,000mAh (40Wh) portable batteries. Mini requires a USB-C PD power supply with at least 100W (20V/5A).

The dimensions of Starlink Mini are 298.5 x 259 x 38.5 mm and it weighs only 1.1 kg. With the 15-meter DC power cable and support stand, its total weight increases to 1.53 kg. With an IP67 rating, it is protected from dust and rain and is resistant to short-term immersion in water.

Cost of Starlink Mini Internet experience

In the US, Starlink Mini is currently only available as an add-on service to existing Residence plans. The mini kit costs $599, which is $100 more expensive than the standard antenna. Additionally, Mini Roam service is offered for an extra fee of $30 per month, in addition to the existing $120 Residence plans. This gives Starlink Mini users 50GB of mobile data every month, with the option to buy more for $1 per GB.

While Starlink Mini is a new service for the US, it is already available in Colombia, El Salvador, Guatemala and Panama, according to a Starlink support page. In these countries, there are no data or speed limits for using the Mini, and its use while on the move or at sea is not permitted. SpaceX states that it will expand to more markets over time.

“Our goal is to lower the price of Starlink, especially for locations around the world where connectivity is unaffordable or completely inaccessible,” the Starlink support page states. “In high usage regions such as the US, we are initially offering a limited number of Starlink Mini Kits at a higher price point as Starlink Mini places additional demand on the satellite network.”

Starlink Mini could be a transformative service for anyone who needs a low-cost, shareable internet service. This covers a wide range of audiences, from families powered by a solar generator, to military units trying to repel an invasion, or simply to cyclists and adventurers who prefer the roads less travelled.

The portability and efficiency offered by Starlink Mini can make a big difference, especially in areas with limited or no internet access. For travelers, nature lovers and those living in remote areas, this new technology offers the perfect solution to meet the need to stay constantly connected.

Danish Kapoor